The Cotton Tale

A Cotton Project By: Peyton Cavnar

Cotton is Complicated

The harvesting, processing, and distribution of cotton throughout Texas are complicated processes. Back in the 1800’s, cotton was picked by hand, and at best, a picker could harvest 200 pounds of cotton a day. As the demand for cotton grew, machines like the cotton gin and cotton pickers were invented that increased the efficiency of the cotton industry. In developed countries like the U.S., cotton is harvested using either a cotton picker or stripper. The picker removes the cotton from the boll without damaging the plant, and the stripper takes the boll itself off of the plant. Then, the cotton gin is used to clean the cotton by separating the seeds from the cotton lint. The cotton is then pulled into ropes, which are pulled into thinner strings. The strings are dipped in a chemical to make then stronger, and woven into cloth. The cloth is then shipped to various places to be turned into the many products that are made out of cotton.


Texan farmers have grown 10.8 million acres of cotton in the last year.

Growing Conditions

When growing cotton, to be successful, you need to be in an area with a long frost-free period, abundant sunshine, and moderate rainfall. The soil you grow it in should be kind of heavy, and have a minimum amount to moderate amount of nutrients. In modern times, most large cotton fields are grown in areas with little rainfall. The plants get all the water they need via irrigation.


List of Common Cotton Products

.T-Shirts

.Bed Sheets

.Socks

.Oven Mitts

.Underwear

.Blue Jeans

.Corduroy

.Fishing Nets

.Coffee Filters...and so much more!

The cotton seed is also used to make a variety of oils and soaps.

Conclusion

Texas is perfect for growing cotton, and the reason it is so abundant in Texas is because of its climate. Even though Texas is dry, the cotton can get the needed amount of water from irrigation, and the soil is perfect for growing cotton in Texas. Like the requirements of the cotton growing conditions, Texas is very sunny, does not have a long time period of cold weather, and has a not to large, not to small amount of rain. Cotton is a very productive agricultural crop that improves Texas’s economy and provides jobs for many Texans. Therefore, I think the cotton industry will continue to blossom and make its mark in Texas history.